Are you about to graduate from college? If so, you need to get your resume in order.
The resume remains the centerpiece of your job-hunting tool kit, and a well-crafted one can help you stand out among many competitors. The National Center for Education Statistics projects that the college Class of 2013 will include 1,791,000 graduates, aka soon-to-be job hunters.
Here are three questions to ask yourself before submitting your resume to employers:
1. Have I captured all the relevant real-world skills I’ve acquired through internships, volunteering, part-time jobs and extracurricular activities?
2. Did I organize and format my information for easy readability?
3. Is my resume clear, concise and free of typos?
These entry-level applicants made some easily avoidable errors:
“EDUCATION: Bachelorette degree in human resource management.”
You couldn’t manage to proofread?
“EXPERIENCE: No professional experience, but I have paid my do’s.”
Poor attention to detail is a definite don’t.
Focus your resume and cover letter on the prospective employer’s needs, not your own. Research shows hiring managers have concerns about the arrogant attitudes displayed by many newly minted graduates. Fifty-three percent of human resources professionals report that more new employees are exhibiting a sense of entitlement, according to a recent study by the Center for Professional Excellence at York College of Pennsylvania.
Put yourself in the employer’s shoes and check out some of the me-focused applicants we’ve come across over the years. Would you hire any of these candidates?
COVER LETTER: “I have now graduated. Give me a job to establish a career I will like.”
Can you at least say please?
“REQUIREMENTS: No cubicles. I like a view.”
Your prospects of landing an interview just went out the window.
COVER LETTER: “Let’s talk about the dollars. If you’re going to pay me anything less than $70 per hour, then stop reading now.”
A request we’re happy to accommodate.
Max Messmer is CEO of Robert Half International, a specialized staffing firm. Send examples to Resumania, c/o Robert Half International, 2884 Sand Hill Road, Suite 200, Menlo Park, Calif. 94025. Or, visit www.resumania.com.